Does The Bookstr Fam Lend Out Their Valuable Books?

Lending out books is a controversial subject among book lovers. I asked the Bookstr team to weigh in, and they delivered some interesting responses!

Book Culture Bookish Lifestyle Just For Fun Opinions Pop Culture
A woman passing another woman a book.

Books are very precious, and many of us book lovers hoard them and protect them like dragons. Loaning them out is a risky business, especially if the person isn’t as much of a book lover. But, some of us are more trusting than others and will lend out books. Read on to find out what the Bookstr team thinks!

Absolutely! That’s Why I Buy Books!

A bookshelf crammed with books and a cup holder.
IMAGE VIA SPEND YOUR VALUES

One of the primary reasons I will buy books that I love is so that if I have a friend who will be interested, I can lend it to them! I love the idea of having a huge book collection full of books that help me connect with the people in my life. Part of why I view book sharing like this is because I grew up with aunts who loved sharing the books they’d read with my siblings and cousins and me. Without that sense of community in book lending, I don’t know if my love of reading would have developed the same way that it did. I want my kids to grow up seeing that it’s good to lend books to people you care about and trust them to return them!

Callie Elliston Smith, Editorial

Sharing is Caring

Two little girls sharing and reading a book.
IMAGE VIA EDUCATALL

I love to share my collection with anyone who wants a book, especially if it is a must-read. I usually am a one-and-done reader, and I will only hold on to specific books if they mean a lot to me personally. If someone I know is looking to read a book I have, I will give it to them for sure. I am not obsessed with keeping a collection of books, so if my friends or family are looking to read something new, I will send it off to them with no trouble.

Erin Ewald, Editorial

If It’ll Finally Get Them To Read It!

A woman pulling a book off a library bookshelf.
IMAGE VIA UCLA LIBRARY

I’m yet to lend a book to a friend, but if I wanted them to read it and trusted I’d get it back, I would. I might give care instructions — like storing the book vertically, for example — but if it’ll force them to read it finally, tell me when! In all seriousness, though, I’m very particular about the books I buy physically, so just make sure to return them in proper condition and in a timely manner. Thanks.

Gabriela Collazo, Editorial

How do I feel about this book, and is it a guarantee that I will see this person again?

The choice to lend a book to someone is not so black and white. There are many factors that people have to consider when it comes to the loan. In my case, there are two main factors. The first one is based on my opinion of the book. It is not about loving the book; it’s quite the opposite actually. If I don’t care about this book but my friend wants it, I am more than happy to let them borrow it. I probably will not read the book again, so it has no importance to me. If I truly love this book, then I will be more hesitant. I may want to read it again, or even just look at little passages I like. I don’t want to buy a whole new copy, so I don’t know if I would just give away a cherished book so casually.

Two students sharing a textbook.
IMAGE VIA WRITING WITH DESIGN

That leads me to my next factor. Will I see this person again? If it is a person that I see frequently, and I mean really frequently, I can hold them to this borrowing. Even if I see them not that often, that is not a guarantee for borrowing. They could take my book and then abandon me. It’s possible. If I am lending a good book, the other person should constantly be in my life so that they will have to give the book back eventually, or at least feel guilty by not returning it and possibly paying me back. Keep your friends close, but the book borrowers closer.

Rachel Rosenfield, Editorial

Probably to Bookish People and My Friends

Two women looking over a table with books.
IMAGE VIA BRUNSWICK NEWS

I believe I gave out my books only twice in my life. It’s not that I don’t trust people (maybe), but I only had a single bookish friend who was as obsessed as I was. When I did have an acquaintance who wanted my recommendation, I directed them to the school library and how they had a copy… okay, never mind. It’s only because seeing an empty space in the bookshelf is unnerving unless I have that very book in my hands. I would, however, trust my best friends even if they aren’t book people. They know how much of a constant annoyance I can be daily so just wait until they have a treasure of mine actually in their possession :).

Jaiden Cruz, Graphics

It Depends on Who

Someone passing a book to someone else.
IMAGE VIA ELECTRIC LITERATURE

I once loaned a book to a book-loving friend, and I had to ask her for it back — after she’d already had it for a few months. So, I don’t loan my books to just anyone. I would loan my books to my mom and sister, as they’ve always made sure to give them back to them in good condition and within a reasonable time. If I were to loan my books to anyone else, they would have to be someone who loves books as much as I do and also someone who I can trust not to hurt my precious books. (Or someone who will insist on buying me a new book if they accidentally hurt mine.)

Danielle Tomlinson, Editorial

Unless You’re Considered Family…

Three people standing and talking in a library.
IMAGE VIA GALE BLOG

Book lending is truly difficult. It’s a precious commodity that you can’t just lend to anyone. Unless you’re considered family in my book, my precious jewel stays with me. I’m a fierce protector of my books because they are filled with all of these amazing characters and settings that I don’t want to see harmed in any way, shape, or form. You have to be aware of those who may not treat your stuff the way you treat your stuff, and I’m painfully aware of this to a paranoid degree. While I certainly don’t mind lending to family and friends (they’re family, too), I can’t just lend to any and everyone. Even with family, you have to be aware of who will take care of your things the way you do and who will use it as a napkin or as a stand-in furniture leg.

Quiarah B/Vphan, Editorial

Only My Besties

Two friends sitting and smiling while holding books.
IMAGE VIA TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS

I would only let my besties borrow them… and even then, I’m pretty skeptical. One of my best friends still has my copy of The Stranger! They still have the book in question, but if it winds up lost, they for sure would have to replace it. I would then think twice about lending any books after that. I know how it goes, though, sometimes. I misplace things all the time. So yes, I would lend, but only for certain people.

Sierra Jackson, Editorial

Rarely, and Only for Trusted People

Woman reading a book.
IMAGE VIA INDIANA PUBLIC MEDIA

I’ve let people borrow my books in the past, and it’s always been a disaster. Either they come up missing, and I have to purchase new ones (somehow, it never occurs to the borrower that they need to replace the book), or it’s come back damaged. The rules are simple: keep it as long as you need to finish it. Treat it with respect; no dog-earring my pages or breaking the spines. If you’re an annotator, just use sticky notes; don’t write on my book, please. Don’t set your drinks on my pages or read them in the bath.

Kristi Eskew, Editorial

Only to Those I Trust With My Life

My books are my most prized possessions, and thus, I can’t go lending them out to just anybody! I only lend books to friends and family members I know will return them, but of course, there are rules. I get separation anxiety if one of my books is away for too long, so they have to be returned in a timely manner. Plus, absolutely no dog-earring, highlighting, or annotating allowed! The books must be returned in pristine condition — and trust me, if there’s the slightest coffee stain or tear, I’ll know about it.

Three girls laying on a blanket and reading.
IMAGE VIA LONG ISLAND TUTORIAL SERVICES

Additionally, no double lending. My trust in the person I’m lending a book to doesn’t automatically extend to their friend or their mom or their roommate or whoever, so I expect that they won’t pass the book along to others without asking me first. While these rules may seem a bit excessive, it’s just because I care so much about my books. I’m sure fellow book lovers will understand!

Lauren Nee, Editorial

Well, there you have it. The lending of books is a very personal and difficult choice for some and a far easier thing to do for others. Thanks Bookstr Team for sharing your thoughts with our audience! Be sure to let us know about your lending choices on our socials!


For more Bookstr opinion pieces, click here.

Check out the Bookstr team’s book recommendations on Bookshop!

FEATURED IMAGE VIA CANVA